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Messi boost for Barca

Lionel Messi is set to return from injury as Barcelona look to continue their winning start to the season in their Primera Division clash at Osasuna.

The 26-year-old injured his thigh in the 2-0 over Almeria in late September and was forced off in the 28th minute having already scored his 11th goal of the campaign.

The injury saw Messi miss Argentina's World Cup qualifiers as well as two matches for Barcelona, but he now looks set to return at Osasuna on Saturday.

The attacker joined in training this week and confirmed his return to fitness on Instagram, posting a photo of himself volleying a ball with the caption "Ready to come back".

The Argentinian's return will be a huge boost to Barcelona ahead of a tough week.

After travelling to Pamplona, Gerardo Martino's side head to AC Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday before the first Clasico of the season against Real Madrid.

It is an important week but Barca midfielder Sergio Busquets is only focusing on the task at hand, highlighting the importance of the clash with Osasuna.

"The match on Saturday is very important and we, the players, know that we first have to play Osasuna, they are a tough team to beat at home," he said.

"We've always had a hard time in their stadium, but we'll try to come back with the three points."

Busquets believes three points in Osasuna "will better help us approach the Clasico", where they could enter the record books.

Should Barca win in Pamplona and then beat Real Madrid, they would break the record for the best start ever made to a La Liga season - not that the Spain international is getting carried away.

"It's obvious that getting the record would mean having a bigger point advantage and that our start to the season would be unsurpassable" Busquets said.

"But records don't give you titles and we can't forget about Atletico Madrid [and the challenge they possess]."

First up, though, is Osasuna - a match that will be particularly special for striker Oriol Riera.

The 27-year-old came through the Barcelona youth ranks and shared a room with Messi for two years.

Saturday will be the first time Riera has faced his former club and hopes to upset the apple cart.

"For me it's a special game," he said. "The chance we have of scoring is small, but we have choices and we will fight them.

"We will make it difficult and why not surprise them? At some point they have to lose and we must take advantage of that small chance."

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